Online Bank Accounts? Watch out for These Three Hidden Fees


Having an online current account is a wonderful way to store money, save money and pay monthly bills without having to leave the home. However, one should be very cautious about online bank accounts that promise “free” banking or free checking. A wide range of fees exist within these free checking accounts that most consumers do not know about, but a multitude of them discover them once they have had their bank accounts for a few months. UK consumers should watch out for these three hidden fees that exist in the world of online banking.

Sneaky Overdraft Fees

Banks get a huge portion of their income from sneaky overdraft fees. Most consumers are aware that overdraft fees exist. However, not all consumers are privy to the way that banks handle bank card transactions. Some banks withhold the charges for up to a week, and they resolve these transactions in a manner that allows them to ding the customer’s account with overdraft fees for small charges that are under five pounds. They handle the largest charges first and then end up hitting customers with overdraft fees for a series of small purchases. The best way for a consumer to avoid this issue is to keep a log of all the transactions that he or she makes with the bankcard and be sure to have extra money in the account. Consumers can also opt out of overdraft protection so that the banks will not cover these minuscule charges and assess hefty overdraft charges.

Minimum Balance Fees

Some bank accounts require a minimum balance for the customer to avoid additional monthly charges. Several banks have raised the minimum balance requirements on accounts so they can remove the monthly fee from the customers’ accounts. The consumer must always stay on top of e-mails about term and disclosure changes from the banks they use. Many banks provide these updates in a way that is difficult for the consumer to see.

Returned Mail Fees

Another fee that most consumers do not know about is the returned mail feel. Customers who fail to update their addresses when they move are subject to these fees. Some banks will charge as much as three pounds for an address that has not been updated by a consumer. To avoid this fee, consumers have to be sure to update their personal information the moment it changes. These fees can add up to detrimental amounts if the consumer does not pay attention to the charges.

Staying on Top of Accounts

A banking customer is sometimes his or her worst enemy, because that person fails to stay on top of accounts. Checking one’s account balance on a daily basis is an excellent way to catch tricky bank fees that eat away at the account. Since the consumer has such a wide array of options for banking, a person who is receiving too many miscellaneous fees can move on to an institution that has more integrity. Consumers must be assertive and make efforts to protect the funds they were so hard to save.